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Compliance Independent Assurance Committee

The Independent Assurance Committee (IAC) provides expert advice on the design, implementation, and adequacy of the Murray–Darling Basin Authority's (MDBA) Basin Plan compliance program.

The IAC holds the MDBA to account in discharging its regulatory roles and responsibilities under the Basin Plan and the Water Act. The IAC helps to ensure adequate attention is given to high risk areas for Basin Plan implementation, including state and MDBA compliance arrangements and reporting, state water resource plans, and improved management of environmental water.

The IAC develops an annual work program, which for 2019-2020 is expected to include the following areas of focus:

  • water resource plan accreditation progress and compliance
  • the protection of environmental water
  • improvements in metering and measurement of water take
  • the commencement of sustainable diversion limit reporting and compliance
  • improving public confidence and trust in water regulation through transparent reporting, engagement and communication
  • progress and performance implementing commitments under the Murray–Darling Basin Compliance Compact.

The MDBA established the IAC in February 2018, as a statutory committee under section 203 of the Water Act 2007.

The IAC consists of four independent experts with knowledge across a range of relevant fields, including water and natural resources policy and management, and regulation and compliance.

Members

Mr Allan Holmes (Chair)

Mr Allan Holmes is a graduate of the University of Adelaide and the University of Melbourne. He has had a long and distinguished career in the public service in Victoria and South Australia.

He is a fellow of the Victorian Leadership Institute and of the Institute of Public Administration Australia. In South Australia, he is a member of the Environment Protection Authority, chairs the Coast Protection Board, is a commissioner on the State Planning Commission, and is a director of Arid Recovery (a not-for-profit research and conservation organisation).

Mr Holmes was chief executive of the South Australian Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources for 15 years and has been involved in water management and regulation for many years. He also chaired the independent panel which undertook the 2017 Murray–Darling Basin Water Compliance Review.

Ms Lisa Corbyn

Ms Lisa Corbyn has extensive knowledge and experience in water programs, environmental and natural resources policy, land and program management and regulation, both in New South Wales and internationally.

In Australia, she served as Director General of the New South Wales Environment Department and NSW Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) from 2000–2012. From 2012–2015, she served as the inaugural Chair of the statutory, Independent Expert Scientific Committee (IESC) on the water impacts of Coal Seam Gas and large Coal Mining developments. Most recently, she has been providing advice to various State and Commonwealth Government agencies on compliance and regulatory programs.

Ms Corbyn coordinated the establishment of the NSW EPA and its foundation legislation in the 1990s.  She also initiated the interagency environmental water reforms in NSW during that time. Ms Corbyn was the Secretary of the NSW Environmental Trust for 12 years.

She has also participated on national Ministerial Council Standing Committees, and has served as a Commissioner of the Murray Darling Basin Commission.

Ms Corbyn has a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations, a Masters in Public Administration specialising in Natural Resources Management from the University of Washington in the USA and undertook a fellowship in Environmental Economics at Princeton University. In 2016, she was awarded the Australian Public Service Medal for outstanding public service to environmental protection and policy reform and natural resource management in NSW.

Mr Garry Smith

Mr Garry Smith is a civil engineer, with broad-ranging expertise in the water industry, including at Goulburn-Murray Water and Melbourne Water.

He is a Director with DG Consulting and provides advice on water and natural resource management policy and strategy. He previously held a range of senior management roles in the rural water industry.

Mr Smith is currently a Director of Melbourne Water. He is a member of the MDBA's Independent River Operations Review Group and the Independent Audit Group for Salinity. Previous roles include membership of the Advisory Board for the National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training, Director of the eWater Co-operative Research Centre and a member of the Water Accounting Standards Board.

Mr Martin Dolan

Mr Martin Dolan has extensive experience in the development and operation of compliance and regulatory systems in a range of sectors at the Commonwealth level.

Mr Dolan's impressive 37-year career as a Commonwealth public servant includes two decades in senior executive roles. He was chief executive of three agencies, lastly as Chief Commissioner of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.

Mr Dolan has extensive experience in the development and operation of regulatory systems in the transport, workplace safety and energy sectors.